8x4 Grumman from Scotland

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8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby StockCube » Sun May 11, 2014 2:43 pm

Hi everyone, I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the time and effort that people here put into documenting their builds - it has been very helpful for me so far and is very much appreciated. I have to say though that you are all extremely fortunate to have such amazing products available to you for your builds extremely cheaply. I have had to import a lot of items from the States for my build and the postage and customs charges are horrendous, but with no equivalent products available here it is the only option. I just hope you all realise how lucky you are!

As the title says, I am building an 8x4 Grumman profile teardrop trailer in Scotland. I started it last year and did a couple of months work on it before getting distracted by other projects. I have now been back working on it for a couple more months and hope to get it finished this summer. I am skinning it with a product called Dibond normally used in the signmaking industry, which is a 3mm thick aluminium sandwich with plastic filling. The sides are black and the top will be silver.

To start with I had to build a workshop. As I am rather short of money I built it out of discarded shipping pallets and surplus materials donated by friends. It is only just big enough to fit the teardrop inside and not really big enough to work in comfortably, but my landlord wouldn't let me build anything bigger so it has to do.

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I used Angib's site to help me decide on a Grumman profile. Teardrops for me just have to be curvy!

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Then I planned the trailer chassis to fit around the Grumman profile. I wanted a very simple lightweight chassis but went for something hopefully a bit stronger than the traditional triangular design found on many 8x4 small builds.

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I bought the steel and other bits on eBay and it was welded up locally

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I then strapped a double shipping pallet to it and used it as a flatbed to collect the sheet materials for the build

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The base was made with two sheets of ply with battens (cut down from shipping pallets of course!) and insulation between. I then covered it with several coats of bitumen paint to hopefully waterproof it.

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I was dreading the job of plotting the profile onto the side walls but it was actually very easy with Angib's diagrams and a large 1.2m right angle straight edge.

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Sides cut out:

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And fitted to the base:

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As you can see I didn't cut out the door before fitting the side walls as I wanted to wait until the skin was on to minimise warp. In hindsight I wouldn't do it that way again as it made things much more difficult for myself. I would also not drop the sides quite as much as I have on this one as it made things difficult later on (I wanted to avoid the 'off road' look of having the axle at the same height as the bottom of the sidewall).

I fitted the cross-braces and test fitted the roof vent. If I ever build another one I would turn the cross braces through 90 degrees to improve strength.

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I roughed out the hatch and did a test-fit

Image I have since begun to remake this hatch as I found that using 12mm ply on the sides was not enough to prevent 'spring back'.

Pulled it outside for a quick look:

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Then fitted the inner plywood skin:

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I had to make some castor dollies for the wheels to enable me to slide it from side to side to make the most of limited space in the workshop. Pallet wood again and castors from a skip (dumpster).

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That was as far as I got last year. I will continue posting on a new post as I don't want this one to get too big and break the site or something....
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby StockCube » Sun May 11, 2014 2:49 pm

....continued. This year I fitted some flooring to the cabin area and then painted the interior as the cheap ply I had used was not up to varnishing. It is a retro cream sort of colour and not as yellow as it looks in the photos. I also fitted some downlighters and ran other wiring where needed.

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The sides then went on

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The door was cut out - PLEASE NOTE - THE DOOR IS NOT CROOKED! IT JUST LOOKS THAT WAY BECAUSE I USED A WIDE-ANGLE LENS!

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and the portholes were fitted either side

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Anyone concerned about cutting out circles neatly shouldn't worry as it is extremely simple with a router

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The portholes were then finished off with a home-made plywood trim ring.

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I then fitted the handles to the door:

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I then framed the cupboards in the cabin (pallet wood again - will be filled and sanded and you will never know!)

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and then fitted the partitions and started work in the galley

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I have now fitted the flooring in the galley and also the formica to the worktop. I then cut out for the stove and sink and fitted the framing for the lower cupboards

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and that is me pretty much up to date. More to follow as it gets done!

Cheers
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby Bantam » Wed May 14, 2014 10:27 pm

Nice build, keep up the good work. I used the same plan as you. We're your sides 8x4 sheets? Farm looks nice too.
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby Ron Dickey » Wed May 14, 2014 11:36 pm

Nice job looks well thought out. like the look of it nice profile :thumbsup: It should not cost much to pull.

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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu May 15, 2014 5:24 am

Looking good. When you finish I hope you will share your camping experiences and :pictures:
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby mallymal » Thu May 15, 2014 2:49 pm

Really nice job mate , well done. I'm still at the design stage but was also thinking about Dibond. Do you mind me asking what kinda price you paid per sheet? :thumbsup:
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby SLUG36 » Thu May 15, 2014 3:31 pm

great job on the tear and the work shop. after seeing the work shop in the beginning of your post. I knew the tear drop would turn out great.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Making big pieces of wood into the wrong size..... for over 30 years....
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby StockCube » Thu May 15, 2014 5:22 pm

Thanks all - it is great to get some encouragement.

I paid around £50 a sheet for 8x4 sheets of dibond - the black was cheaper but the 'butler finish' silver was more but in total it came to around £200 for the four sheets.

I got a wee bit more done today - I made the first of what will be many cupboard doors and got it painted and hung.

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The hinges and handles are all genuine vintage that I bought via eBay in The States and had sent over

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The handles sort of match the fridge and incorporate a button that connects to the catch inside

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As you can see from the pic above I had to thin out the inside of the door in order for the 3/8ths of an inch offset hinges to fit properly. I wish you would use metric! If I had realised that was only 9mm I probably wouldn't have bought them, but the issue wasn't that difficult to solve in the end with the help of my router.

I have managed to find enough matching handles and hinges to do the whole teardrop - they all come in these beautiful old printed envelopes with full instructions and templates inside. They are a joy to work with. You are so fortunate to have such great items like these readily available to you in The States - the 50's was such a golden time there.

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Last edited by StockCube on Fri May 16, 2014 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby Ron Dickey » Thu May 15, 2014 10:38 pm

those were from the time that they coined the words "good old yankee know how" they don't say that any more. now it is built in china assembled in the USA. :thumbsup:

They were a good choice fits you design very very well.

although one can not tell but I have a bit of scotch in my, the name Dickey I have been told came from there. So when I go to the Scottish games here in California I feel right proud. 8)

So next teardrop gathering there we want pictures. and the various games toss the teardrop, cast Iron Running, you can pock fun at us too :lol: :thumbsup:

look forward to more pictures

Thanks for sharing your pictures. looking forward to more.

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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby StockCube » Fri May 16, 2014 4:59 am

Thanks for your comments Ron - would it surprise you to hear that pretty much every American I have ever met has said much the same thing to me about their heritage? :lol:

Oh and I should point out that the people of Scotland are Scottish or Scots - scotch is whisky or (in your land) sticky tape ;)
Last edited by StockCube on Sat May 17, 2014 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby Starseeker » Fri May 16, 2014 6:22 am

Nice trailer you are building there. I love the use of the pallets. The company that I work for has to pay another company to haul off used pallets.
I don't know if I should be allowed to read this thread since I'm not Scottish. :( However my last name is Scott so I guess that should make up for it. :lol:
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby noseoil » Fri May 16, 2014 7:48 am

Just wondering how you plan on dumping the heat from the fridge out of your cabinets. It looks like it is venting into the toe-kick area right now. That, or do you actually need the heat to stay warm where you live? tim from sunny tucson, arizona.
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby KCStudly » Fri May 16, 2014 2:04 pm

Ron Dickey wrote:... I have a bit of scotch in (me).

:lol: :lol: :lol: I wish I had a bit of scotch in me right now, too! :? :lol: :beer: :beer: :beer:
Johnny Walker Black, neat please.
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby StockCube » Sat May 17, 2014 5:38 am

Thanks for the comments once again guys.

To be honest I am a bit sketchy about the heat from the fridge. I built a camper a couple of years ago and fitted a gas fridge into that - it kicked out a lot of heat at the back and so I had to fit all sorts of vents, fans and the like, all of which looked very ugly from the outside. As you may have guessed, the aesthetic is very important to me so I am not keen to chop holes in the outer skin of the tear for vents - instead I was going to cut one into the base underneath the fridge to draw up cool air and hope for the best (at least just for this summer). I haven't ever run a wee peltier electric fridge like this before so it will be a learning curve to see how hot it does get. It vents at the front of the fridge and a small amount at the top so not totally reliant on the cupboard doors being open. Where the heat will go when the hatch is closed is a different matter though!

You are right that it is often rather cold here so diverting the heat into the cabin might be a good idea (as long as the noise from the fridge fan didn't come with it). It could also vent into the cabin and then out of the roof vent if I left that open when we were out during the day.
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Re: 8x4 Grumman from Scotland

Postby StockCube » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:45 am

Well my son and I have been lucky enough to get glandular fever (mono) :( I have had it for a few weeks now, which has been slowing me down to the extent that I have only really been able to potter on the teardrop, which is frustrating as it is quite close to being finished now. I would also like for us to be away in it, but the weather has been good here lately so it is not too bad I suppose.

I have though managed to get the lid on and the roof vent fitted. It just has ribbon mastic in it for now but once that finishes squeezing out I will go round it with sealant too. Obviously there are caps to go on the top of the screws as well.

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Yesterday I finished fitting the bottom pan at the front (a three day job that should have been half a day - it is so frustrating not having much energy). The screws will be removed once the glue has set and a strip of ally flat bar run along the join and screwed down.

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Now the lid and front pan are on I can fit the ally trim that goes along the edge between the roof and side walls. I was originally going to fit cope moulding there but to be honest I have not been impressed with my ability to drill neat screw holes in it when I have used it elsewhere on the build. It is clearly not a skill I am in possession of - or maybe I just need to use a drill press or something - I think the bits I have done look a bit crap. Anyway, I decided instead to fit the kind of trim you get on caravans that has a plastic strip slid in to cover the screw holes. I have seen that some of the builds here that I have drooled over (travellear and silver beetle for example) have used it and I think it looks really smart. I bought some from a caravan parts supplier but I have not been impressed with the quality of it. When I began to very gently bend it to fit the curve it started to show stress lines running at right angles along it.

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I think this means that I need to anneal it and that it has not been pre-annealed, which I would have expected as to my mind it should be ready to fit. While I know how to do this (in theory at least - I have seen plenty of online tutorials) I am very unhappy about it as they told me when I bought it that it bent nicely :( I am quite annoyed about this as I feel as though I just don't have the time, facilities or the energy to mess about annealing it at the moment. When I spoke to the company on the phone about it they sent me out some more but the second batch is just the same.
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